Tuesday, May 29, 2007

New Baptist Covenant, or New Baptist Convention?

At least one prominent Baptist from the left side of the aisle is willing to view the New Baptist Covenant as a starting point for building Herb Reynolds's "Baptist Convention of the Americas." (see here) Just something to be considered alongside denials that this has anything at all to do with forming any kind of denominational structure. (Of course, after what happened last time, it is with fear and trepidation that I ever again point you to Ethics Daily for anything, but the target article is editorial opinion, not news.)


wadeburleson.org said...

If true, and that is a big IF, I would simply so, "No thanks."

Marty Duren said...

Ditto here. In fact, I'm not sure we need all that we already have.


Nice pickup on the story, though, Bart.

Big Daddy Weave said...

A new super denomination is not the vision of Underwood or any moderate leader that I know.

According to most mods, we live in a post-denominational world. So, a new denominational structure is not in the plans.

Heck, CBF and other organizations are just trying to make ends meet. We can't afford to fund anything else.

And with the CBF providing significant funds to the Baptist Center for Ethics, Dr. Parham won't be advocating a new super denomination.

At the time President Reynolds envisioned the Baptist Convention, moderates were divided between groups like TBC, Mainstream Baptist Network, BGCT, BGAV, and CBF. There definitely was no unity.

Anonymous said...

Bart, I am not sure that other moderates ever bought into Reynold's idea. Aaron seems to confirm that. I think that Reynolds was part of the old guard of moderates who wanted a cut-and-paste moderate replacement for the SBC. Most moderates now tend to prefer having mutliple groups that are loosely related and more "societal" than "convention" in their approach. Just a thought.

Wade, I think your "no thanks" will not sit well with some of the moderates who are so thrilled by the recent meeting you had with Carter. I know that you are not trying to impress moderates, but I think many of them think you are about two steps from their kingdom. The Baptistlife crowd will be miffed!!!

Marty, please do not go criticizing the size of the bureaucracy unless you have a spot for me on your church staff as associate pastor of historical trivia. I've got mouths to feed.


R. L. Vaughn said...

Seems at least that Bro. Parham is sold on the idea.

Ministerially, as a Baptist tainted with elements of landmarkism, primitivism, gospel missions, apostolic practice as normative and who knows what else, I have no interest in the NewBaptCov as a viable/workable Baptist body.

Clinically, as an independent researcher of Baptist taxonomy for over 25 years, I am very intrigued with the progress and future of the NewBaptCov.

But I don't understand the NewBaptCov, as it has been explained on blogs and from what I've read on their web site. The NewBaptCov and the North American Baptist Fellowship (region of the BWA) are almost coextensive. If I understand correctly, the NABF is already doing what the NewBaptCov has been created to do (cf. Art II of NABF's constitution). If so, why a new organization?

As one not in the SBC, I am often frustrated when in the US everything seems to be about the SBC. But, IMO, this is about the SBC. The SBC is no longer in the BWA or the NABF. A new organization might allow for SBC participation. No one is talking about the non-representation of the 50 some-odd other Baptist bodies in North America. So far there is no participation from Mexico (which is part of North America). So I think there is at least some reasoning for creating an organization that can reach out and seek SBC participation. And if they don't participate, maybe at least they'll look bad for not doing so.

Just my observations as an outsider looking in, Bart. Only time will tell just where this new organization is going.

Bart Barber said...

Thanks to everyone for commenting.

Let me make two things clear, lest I be misunderstood:

1. Although I have indeed reached conclusions about the theological nature of the NBC, I have not drawn any conclusions about the structural aims of the event.

2. Therefore, I offer the post without conclusions, but merely as a piece of evidence.

R. L. Vaughn said...

Bart, in light of your comment, let me emphasize that what I posted is just thinking out loud. It is my opinion I've assimilated based on what is being said and what isn't. But it's just opinion waiting on validation or contradiction.

volfan007 said...

well, alert the news media...i now have a blog....my address is


grammar alert...i will not use correct grammar, nor correct punctuation, nor capital letters...except for God. so, if that bothers you...well, i cant help it.

david worley....volfan007

Wes Kenney said...

"Goodwill Baptists"? Aren't they the ones that view foot-washing as an ordinance?


Tim Rogers said...

Brother Bart,

I would encourage you to look at my blog archives. Here is the link I am referring.


I do not know if the link with take, but if you will go to my blog in wordpress and go to the Jan 10, 2007 article you will see my thoughts on this meeting at that time. Also, the interesting comment stream is not with our Brother Wade Burleson, it is with another Brother Wade.


Anonymous said...

Oh, be careful little feet where you go. Oh, be careful little feet where you go. Big baptist brother up above is watching you in love, so be careful little feet where you go.

Marty Duren said...

"Goodwill Baptists" are those like my wife, who buy used books by the truckload @...well, Goodwill.

Big Daddy Weave said...

From an article I stumbled across during some research for my Dunn thesis:

It is not entirely clear what the new coalition will do. There is talk of raising social issues, developing educational resources, even engaging in evangelism. But organizers are clear that they will not form a denomination.

"We're not eager to sign a statement of faith," said James Dunn, professor at Wake Forest University Divinity School and one of the coalition's foot soldiers. "We don't believe in enforcement or uniformity. It's more a loose-knit network focusing on a shared agenda of social justice and peace."


Bart Barber said...


Different people will want different things. Whose vision prevails? That is the question that politics answers. The reason that I have not reached any conclusion is that no conclusion exists to be reached (except in the exhaustive foreknowledge of God).

I will say, structure is a difficult thing to avoid.

Big Daddy Weave said...

Well, President Reynolds funeral was held today at FBC Waco.

So, I'm not sure there are competing visions.

Former-Southern Baptists are the principal organizers of the NBC. That's a fact. And if you look at our history since the 80's, you'll see that mods intentionally chose not to replace one bureacracy with another. Right now, with the path we're on - we praise Jesus everytime an older layperson leaves the CBF a million dollars. CBF can only feed one mouth right now. And in comparison to other participating organizations, we're rollin' in dough.

The idea of a super denomination is far-fetched. In moderate circles the question being asked is: will the CBF and ABC create a formal network or possibly merge? Developments along those lines are a real possibility in the foreseeable future. A NBC denomination is not.